MusingWith: Poem & Responses

on shade 2

On Shade

              Russell C.Leong

Mei-mei, your turquoise shade is beautiful and I could more or less fall under its desert spell.

But no less than the cotton cloth which shades the bamboo bird cage hanging on the chain link fence in that Chinatown park between Houston and Hester. Within, a finch’s shadow flies from water to seed waiting for the curtain to be drawn open, to see the horizon you have drawn.

The sun moves slowly West again. The bird’s owner, Liu, a sixty-threeyear-old retired restaurant worker, decides whether he can remove the white cloth shade, unhook the door, and let the finch perch on his shoulder.

Always a chance that the bird, or he, might want to fly away, due East. He would have gone back to Chengdu. But that was too far now. And neither would ever abandon the other.


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